Memorial Day - Thankful

This is Michael. Today is Memorial Day, and a day to be thankful. Today we are especially thankful to have Cannon home and feeling a bit better; he has had a rough week. Thankful also for our kids:  Olivia, who we are so proud of and graduated from high school this past Monday; Arran and Gray, our twin 2 year old wrecking crew that continues to make us smile every day; and Cannon, the boy that refuses to allow pain and sickness to stop him. Today is a day we recognize heroes, and I will speak to that below, but everyone knows from my presentations on children's cancer and from the video on the CKc website that Cannon is my hero.   This week in the ER, he showed again why--- enduring pain while hardly complaining, being stuck with a ¾ inch needle at 4am, no sleep, vomiting more in one night than most do in a year, etc. and on and on.   

And Thankful for the Fight. The book was released this week, and we are proud of it and energized that it will raise more funding for research to stop the madness of kids suffering and dying from cancer. Thankful to those that helped make the book a reality--- Rich, Debra, Ashley and more.

This week we were back on the 4th Floor as an admitted patient at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Our home hospital, our home floor--- the floor where kids with cancer and blood disorders are found. And, unfortunately, almost every room was taken:  all filled with new or continuing treatments for kids with cancer. It doesn’t stop… and to be back up there and re-live some of what Cannon went through and us with him during his treatment protocol… well, enough said. Painful to see more bald heads, more children pushing their IV poles with chemo bags dripping, more cries of pain and misery from the harsh effects of chemo. Thankful for the Fight, yes--- but it shouldn’t have to be. We will NEVER stop fighting for these kids that suffer and pass away needlessly and so unjustly. They are all my heroes.

Memorial Day recognizes our country’s collective heroes--- the men and women of our military, and I wanted to take this last moment to recognize our veterans, both living and passed, for their sacrifice and for their family’s sacrifice to our country and to give Melissa and me and our children the freedoms we enjoy. I read an op-ed piece recently written by a retired Lt. General of the Army with 38 years in the military. He wrote “…Imagine the feeling one gets standing in front of a formation of men and women--- far from home and their loved ones, missing times that can never be replaced. They understand that one of them may have to make the ultimate sacrifice on their next mission. They raise their right hands and take an oath of re-enlistment, volunteering to continue to serve, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Your heart swells with patriotism and the tears well up… These soldiers serve on the backs of those heroes that served before them….”  If you have never felt the swell of patriotism and pride for one’s country, I urge you to visit a military or war cemetary and experience the surreal feeling of knowing that but for the sacrifice of the men and women under your feet, you would not have anything remotely close to what you have now in your life:  your home, your family, your children, their schools, the healthcare choices and quality of it and life in total. Thankful for our vets, now and then and especially those that laid down their lives to give me mine and what Melissa and I have today.

Thank you to all who follow and pray for Cannon and all the kids with cancer that we know and who are right now, today, treating and suffering from the harsh treatments in the world of pediatric cancer. Thank you to all who have offered to educate the community or write their representative, make a donation to a children's cancer charity, tell a friend or family an awareness fact, make a presentation to a local group or make any effort for kids' cancer.

St. Peregrine, pray for all the kids that will be diagnosed with a form of pediatric cancer today, and for the souls of the children who will die from a form of pediatric cancer today, and especially for all those souls that have been unjustly and needlessly lost to children's cancer.